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It started when our managing editor, Jon Fulbright, just happened to
hear a New Mexico broadcast on funds totalling $120 million awarded to
the State of New Mexico from the Department of Energy for improving
their access road to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, located southeast
of Carlsbad, 75 miles north of Pecos.
The WIPP is a disposal site for transuranic waste from research and
production facilities of nuclear weapons.
He later handed me the assignment to find out if DOE had any plans to
award Texas any similar funds.
After some research, it was discovered that the New Mexico funds, dubbed
the "WIPP funds", will be distributed to the NMDT&H over a period of
five years and used on a project that entails the widening of U.S.
Highway 285, the primary access road to the WIPP, for safer radioactive
The endeavor only covers the New Mexico strip from Clines Corners to
Of course we all know that our Cedar Street is U.S. Highway 285 and now
we've discovered that it is not included in this plan.
On the WIPP web site we can clearly see that there are plans to route
radioactive waste from eastern states through Texas via U.S. Interstate
20, onto 285, which we all know travels through Pecos.
Texas Department of Transportation officials have told us there are
currently no plans or funds to improve the conditions of U.S. Highway
285 on the Texas end of it.
An article from the Associated Press published in the Enterprise last
week read that the DOE site has been highly criticized and predict it
will not open in November of this year as presumed by the federal agency.
Obviously, radioactive waste has been and continues to be a highly
controversial topic on both sides of the Texas/New Mexico border.
I personally feel the thought of trucks shipping TRUPACT-II containers
through one of our busiest streets is scary. These are the official
vessels that will be used by the WIPP in receiving radioactive waste.
I urge the citizens of Pecos and northern Reeves County to write to your
state officials regarding any concerns you may have about this.
Anyone wishing to do so can call us here at the newspaper for addresses
or phones numbers to our state senators and representatives.
I've merely solicited comments and hopefully raised an awareness on the
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.
Due to these problems, members of the U.S. Congress are opposed to
President Clinton's recertification of Mexico as a full partner in the
war on drugs.
Clinton is determined to veto any effort to undermine his
recertification of Mexico.
We feel that Clinton has made the right call on this issue. We too are
concerned about graft and corruption within the government of Mexico. By
the same token we are concerned about those same kinds of problems in
our own government.
We should stop and consider the point made by the Mexican administration
in that the drug problem is due to consumption in the United States and
is causing Mexico a great deal of problems. Without the demand for drugs
in the United States, there wouldn't be the problems that big money is
causing for Mexican law enforcement.
In spite of all this, the Mexican government is trying to stem the flow
of drugs from their country into the United States. But it would be to
our advantage to try to cut the demand for drugs.
Because of drug problems in this country, we are living in a glass
house. And as the old saying goes, people who live in glass houses
should not throw rocks, such as members of our government and media are
doing by throwing rocks of criticism at Mexico.
Experience is not an object known, but rather an action performed.
You see, thinking arises as a means of dealing with disturbing
situations, by working out hypotheses, or guides to future actions. The
merits of these intellectual acts are determined by a practical
criterion, by whether you as an organism can function satisfactorily.
Thought, especially scientific thought, is instrumental in problem
solving. The occurrence of problems sets off a chain reaction of mental
activity directed towards discovering a functional solution to the
difficulties that confront you.
Clothes, fashion, whatever you want to call it, should really have
little or no value in the immediate concerns of the day, and in building
a better world in which some of the problems now confronting us should
be resolved. As students you should be more concerned with the broader
social questions confronting America in its rapid development in this
By no means should you learn how to make satisfactory "adjustments" to
your environment, but you should also train yourselves to develop
various means which would aid you in solving the larger problems of the
social world in which you live. Whatever decision the school board
reaches, do not overly concern yourselves with these events of the
moment. Rather train yourselves for living in a democratic society, in
confronting new situations and trying new solutions. In training
yourselves in this direction and in this problem solving you will be
able to be an active citizen of your society. By doing so you will deal
better with unresolved problems in your common search for satisfactory
ways of dealing with all the practical difficulties which hinder the
best functioning of society.
Through such an examination and evaluation of your thoughts, you may be
better able to assess your ideals and aspirations, as well as in
understanding better why you accept these, and possibly whether you
As for all "Chicano" students, stay in school. Stay in school and
develop a positive self-image and a will to succeed. Yes, there are many
reasons to leave school, but what you don't see is that you are already
overcoming all the reasons. You're already winners, you're on your way
It's very important to this country and to your "barrio" that all of
you earn a good living. Income will help your family. It helps this
country, it helps your schools, it helps your "barrio." There is nothing
wrong with getting rewarded for all the work you've done.
Remember, if you focus on where you come from, that doesn't matter.
What matters is where you end up.
Certainly I've been afraid my whole life. I never met a challenge in
which I was not afraid. Fear will follow you all of your life, but fear
is just an emotion.
The difference between a hero and a coward is action. You know you can
do it. You've just got to start telling yourself you can. To my
wonderful daughter Daniella, I support all your endeavors in school.
-- Stay in School,
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